Irish Fest 2019 takes place on Saturday, September 21, at Crescent Fort Rouge United Church, 525 Wardlaw Avenue (at Nassau St N).
“PLUCK”…..courage and spirit with a touch of audacity! That’s what Mary Robinson (harp/fiddle), Val Kitcher (accordion/keyboard) and Pam Jeffrey (harp/flute/whistle) bring to their music featuring the wonderful sound of the harp. On September 21, Larry Fisher, harp maker extraordinaire, will also be joining us for a tune.
I am a recent « transplant » from Vancouver. One of my first connections with this wonderful city was with the trad Irish community of musicians and I am delighted to be part of this colourful group of interesting people. I look forward to many years of sharing my passion for this extraordinary musical genre.
Founding member of Pluck, Parlour Tricks, Crooked Road; plays button accordion and keyboard; has accompanied world-class trad musicians eg. Matt Molloy (Chieftains) in Ireland and on CBC Radio, Liz Carroll, Oisín Mac Diarmada , Flo Fahey and others.Music background in classical and jazz piano, tenor steel drum (NYC, Toronto, and Competition in Trinidad), Appalachian melodic claw hammer 5-string banjo.
Mary Robinson is a writer and musician interested in the music-wellness connection. She is currently completing a harp therapy certification program, and she collaborates regularly with the Sacred Beats Collective and Sacred Sircus Calm-Unity. Mary plays fiddle and harp with Pluck and continues to edit and write policy papers, articles, and stories.
Dave Clement was born via a Cesarean section because they couldn’t get both him and his guitar out the normal way.
Al Thomson hails from Northumberland in NE England. He speaks fluent Geordie; so if you can’t understand a thing he says, just smile and yell “Champion” intermittently.
Susan Israel is a virtuoso fiddle player who will travel blocks, literally blocks to play a gig.
Gord Menzies has the distinction of being the only Irish flute player in the world to take third place in a fiddle contest – only in Canada.
What more can we say?
Together they comprise Curragh, an Irish fishing boat prone to sinking.
They play very serious music.
The Barefoot Ceili Band plays traditional Irish music for sessions, concerts and dancing. They have toured in Ireland, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Peru and elsewhere with the McConnell School of Irish Dance. Current members Cathy Rayner, D’Arcy Stearns, David Strang and Jordan McConnell have extensive experience with Irish and other traditional music. Their name comes from a recording session where the foot-tapping with shoes was too loud, hence bare feet. Besides, it’s cooler!
The Flatland Ceili Band has been performing for over 10 years now! Originally started by Susan Hammer as an Irish Session Tune Class for Mixed Instruments at the Manitoba Conservatory of Music from 2003 to 2009, the Band is now sponsored by Comhaltas Winnipeg.
The Band performs regularly throughout the year as a fundraiser for Irish Fest. Most often seen at personal care homes and seniors’ residences, the Band has also performed for weddings, birthdays, and St. Patrick’s Day events.
Members have come and gone over the years but currently stands at 14 musicians and singers:
- Al Thomson (penny whistle, Northumbrian pipes, vocals)
- Carol Ann Coish (fiddle)
- Dave Clement (guitar and vocals)
- David Strang (concertina)
- Gord Menzies (flute)
- Hugh Rice (guitar and vocals)
- Karen Rice (bodhran)
- Jeremy Hull (fiddle)
- Marlene Beaty (fiddle)
- Peter McClure (penny whistle)
- Rae Harris (bodhran)
- Ruth Shroeder (fiddle)
- Terry Galloway (penny whistle)
- Al Amyot (mandolin)
This talented trio – Pam Jeffrey on flute, Valerie Kitcher on button accordion and Mary Robinson on Celtic harp – will be joined by special guest Larry Fisher on harp and concertina.
This year’s performers include
- Songs and Stories
- Barefoot Ceili Band
- Flatland Ceili Band